Dalit family murder: complainant turns out to be suspect

In a sensational twist to the case, the Ahmednagar police have nabbed Prashant Jadhav, said to be the nephew of Sanjay Jadhav, one of the victims.

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:08 am IST

Published - December 04, 2014 08:02 pm IST - Pune:

In a sensational turn to the murder of a three-member Dalit family in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, the police on Thursday arrested none other than the complainant in connection with the gruesome killings, belying apprehensions that the crime was caste-motivated.

Following the results of the polygraph and brain-mapping tests sanctioned by the District and Sessions court, the Ahmednagar police have nabbed Prashant Jadhav, said to be the nephew of the murdered Sanjay Jadhav in Pathardi taluk, more than a month-and-a-half after the crime.

Land dispute?

The motive appeared to be a family quarrel, probably a land dispute gone sour, said the Pathardi police, adding that Prashant had “confessed to having committed the crime.”

“We do not think there is a caste-angle to this case. We even suspect the involvement of other family members who might have helped Prashant in carrying out the murder,” said Inspector General of Police (Nashik Range), Pravin Salunkhe, speaking to  The Hindu

 It was Prashant who had filed the first information report (FIR) soon after the horrific murders of Sanjay Jadhav (42), his wife Jayashree (38) and their teenage son, Sunil (42), came to light.

The Jadhav family’s dismembered bodies were found strewn on their farm plot on October 22 by their relatives in the village of Javkhede Khalasa in Pathardi Taluk.

“The murdered family was probably sleeping when the killers struck them with hard,sharp objects on the intervening night of October 20 and 21. We have found incriminating objects, possibly murder weapons, during our search of Prashant’s house,” said Mr. Salunkhe.  The Pathardi court has ordered Prashant Jadhav’s remand to police custody for 10 days.

Dalit groups surprised

The dénouement has surprised activist groups and Dalit organizations, who have been staging irate protests against perceived police tardiness, clamouring for justice in what they perceived to be crimes against Dalits. There was strong speculation about the murders being an instance of an ‘honour killing’.

Some Dalit bodies are not convinced with the police version as they believe that Prashant has been falsely implicated owing to the police’s inability to track down the real culprits in the case.  

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